Our friends at the International Bird Rescue (IBR) have been rescuing and rehabilitating sick, oiled, and injured aquatic birds since 1971. Their good work has saved the lives of thousands of these birds, reflecting the organization’s ideology, “Every Bird Matters.” In the past 20 years, over 5,000 Brown Pelicans have been treated, rehabilitated, banded, and released back in to the wild. That’s a lot of pelicans, people!
Because it’s important to track the progress, survival, and travel of these banded-and-released birds, in 2009 IBR began to place bright blue bands on their pelicans, making it much easier for the public to see and identify the band numbers. Now, this is where where YOU come in: interested citizen scientists can help by going online and reporting sightings of these pelicans on the IBR website. And if you’re up for a little competition, enter the IBR’s Banded Pelican Sighting Contest! You’re definitely going to need your binoculars for this contest, folks. And live in, or visit areas where Brown Pelicans live, of course. If you win, you’ll have a new binocular to add to your optics collection!
The person that documents the most blue-banded Brown Pelicans between Nov. 3, 2012 and Jan. 3, 2013, wins aa Eagle Optics Ranger ED 8×42 Binocular. Kids are also eligible to enter, and the child with the most reported blue-banded pelicans wins a Eagle Optics Shrike 8×42 Binocular!
I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to compete: being out and about with my favorite binoculars (or spotting scope) and those fabulous pelicans, which are in my top 10 list of favorite birds. Contest or not, any time you report sightings and band numbers of these blue-banded pelicans, you’re contributing to important research. Click here to get information about the contest and rules, and follow this link to read about the dedicated people at International Bird Rescue.
Thanks, IBR, for the work you do. And for the rest of you, get down to the ocean and start counting!
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.
Tags: American Birding Association, Banded Pelican Count, Banded Pelican Sighting Contest, Binoculars, Bird Conservation, bird rescue, Birdwatching, International Bird Rescue (IBR), oiled pelican rescue